Family Voice Conference 2024

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Coming together to shape the future for SEND in Calderdale

On Wed 28th February Family Voice Calderdale (the Parent Carer Forum for Calderdale), hosted its 8th Annual Family Voice Calderdale Conference at the Shay Stadium in Halifax.  Nearly 80 Parent Carers, Professionals and Young People attended.

The event kicked off with guest speakers Julie Jenkins, Director of Children and Young People’s Services and Victoria Coyle, Interim Head of SEND, talking abut how families are involved in the decision-making process and influencing change in Calderdale.  John Kennedy, Youth Voice Worker from Gateway Youth Club talked about all the amazing work of Youth Voice and the many projects and activities available for young people at the Orange Box in central Halifax.  Conference then heard from a young person who spoke emotively about his own experience of growing up focusing on his experience at school, at college, getting a job and his hopes for his future career. 

Shona Walsh, Chief Executive Officer with Unique Ways presented the charity’s new service offer for year 2024– 2025 and highlighted what the charity is doing to support working Parent Carers.


The main focus of the day were workshops where attendees started to shape the SEND Strategy in Calderdale, firstly by prioritising the outcomes of the Local Area Inclusion Plan and then (after a break for lunch), focusing on what success would look like in particular themes such as Early Identification through to Preparing for Adulthood. 

It was a fabulous day with 75% of attendees awarding the event a rating of 90% or above for overall satisfaction, highlighting that what they enjoyed most was hearing from the young people themselves and getting involved in the workshops.

During the Conference, Parent Carers were asked for their suggestions for what they felt should be the immediate focus for Family Voice Calderdale;  two key areas were recommended:-

  •  Inclusion in mainstream school settings.
  • Out of school activities for children and young people with SEND.

Leah Webster, Chair of Family Voice Calderdale said “The quality of the discussions and debate has ensured that Parent Carers have indeed used their collective voice and will help to shape the future of SEND in Calderdale – it was a wonderful day and I’d like to thank all our guests for making Conference such a great success”.


For more information specific to Conference or Family Voice Calderdale in general, please contact:-

Heidi Coney, Family Voice Co-Ordinator

01422 343 090


Unique Ways
Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre
Hanson Lane

Tel No. 01422 343 090

Company Number: 05098716 | Charity Number: 1109413


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